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Chigasaki Hamaori Matsuri

Chigasaki Hamaori Matsuri 

Chigasaki Hamaori Matsuri 

During the summer season there are festivals and fireworks to enjoy with lots of food and dressing up in a yukata and enjoying the beach. Well the Chigasaki Hamaori Matsuri is a combination of the beach and a festival and is a very unique type of festival. However, it does involve getting up very early in the morning so it may not be for everyone. But if you like watching the sunrise and you want to see a festival that is different from others then this is the one to go to.

Chigasaki Hamaori Matsuri(source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/japan-celebrates-marine-day-with-hamaori-festival-1500268114)

The Hamaori festival starts at 4:15 am on the Nishihama beach which is located in Kanagawa. This festival is on the same day as the national holiday in Japan known as Marine day so there are a lot of people who comes to this festival.

It is said that this festival first started in 1839 when the Samukawa mikoshi in Kanagawa was lst in the Banyu River. This happened while a fight was taking place between the Samukawa Shrine worshippers and one of the shrines in the area.

After the fight took place, the shrine’s goshintai was found several days after in the sea by fisherman on the Nango Beach in Chigasaki. Once it was found it was returned to the Samukawa Shrine and since then, they have held the tradition of bringing the mikoshi of the shrine back to the beach every year.

In total there are about 40 mikoshi that come together at the beach to celebrate this festival. The festival starts with a procession of mikoshi carried by the local people of the area. After there is a purification ritual, one by one the mikoshi is brought down to the beach and into the water.

Chigasaki Hamaori Matsuri(source: http://rekishi-roman.jp/maturi/page-029.html)

For purification the mikoshi all enter the ocean. It is believed that the water has the power and strength to welcome the divine. This whole ceremony takes place for about 3 to 4 hours.

During the festival a song called Chigasaki Jinku is sung by people. Jinku is a type of old folk song and each local community has made their very own song with lyrics and melodies which they have passed down from one generation to another.

You can go to the festival to see the ceremony and also enjoy Japanese festival food. There are lots of different foods and sweets that you can enjoy. The food stalls usually start selling food around 5 in the morning. Grab some food and go sit down on the beach while watching the whole festival.

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